Galatians 5:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

New Living Translation
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

English Standard Version
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

New American Standard Bible
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

King James Bible
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For you were called to be free, brothers; only don't use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.

International Standard Version
For you, brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another.

NET Bible
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But you have been called to liberty, my brethren, only let not your liberty be an opportunity of the flesh, but you should be serving one another by love.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You were indeed called to be free, brothers and sisters. Don't turn this freedom into an excuse for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through love.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only do not use liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by charity serve one another.

King James 2000 Bible
For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

American King James Version
For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

American Standard Version
For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For you, brethren, have been called unto liberty: only make not liberty an occasion to the flesh, but by charity of the spirit serve one another.

Darby Bible Translation
For *ye* have been called to liberty, brethren; only [do] not [turn] liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

English Revised Version
For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another.

Webster's Bible Translation
For, brethren, ye have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Weymouth New Testament
You however, brethren, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an excuse for giving way to your lower natures; but become bondservants to one another in a spirit of love.

World English Bible
For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don't use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.

Young's Literal Translation
For ye -- to freedom ye were called, brethren, only not the freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through the love serve ye one another,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:13-15 The gospel is a doctrine according to godliness, 1Ti 6:3, and is so far from giving the least countenance to sin, that it lays us under the strongest obligation to avoid and subdue it. The apostle urges that all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. If Christians, who should help one another, and rejoice one another, quarrel, what can be expected but that the God of love should deny his grace, that the Spirit of love should depart, and the evil spirit, who seeks their destruction, should prevail? Happy would it be, if Christians, instead of biting and devouring one another on account of different opinions, would set themselves against sin in themselves, and in the places where they live.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty (ὑμεῖς γὰρ ἐπ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε ἀδελφοί); for ye, brethren, were called unto (Greek, for) freedom. The "for" points back to the closing words of the preceding verse, which implied a settled state of well-being from which those troublers were driving his readers; that happy state (the apostle says) was the very glory and essence of their "calling." This, of course, was that condition of free men described at the end of the foregoing chapter, and summarized in the first verse of this chapter. This is again, even more briefly, recapitulated in the first clause of the present verse. As the summary in the first verse supplied a starting-point for the warnings against the Judaizers which have taken up the foregoing twelve verses, so this new summary furnishes the starting-point for exhortations designed to guard the evangelical doctrine against antinomian perversion, by insisting upon the moral behaviour required of those who enjoy the freedom which Christ gives. These exhortations occupy the remainder of this chapter and a part of the next. "Ye," being what ye are, believers baptized into Christ. The verb "were called" expresses a complete idea, meaning of itself without any adjunct, "called by God to be people of his own" (cf. "calleth," ver. 8, and the passages there cited). The words, "unto," or "for, freedom," supply an adjunct notion; as in Ephesians 4:4, the clause, "in one hope of your calling," does to the same verb. So again 1 Thessalonians 4:7," For God called us, not unto [or, 'for' ] uncleanness, but in sanctification.' 'The preposition ἐπί, both in the passage last cited and in the present verse, denotes the condition or understanding upon which God had called them: they were "called" upon the understanding that they should be in a state of liberty. So Ephesians 2:10, "Created in Christ Jesus unto ['Greek,' for] good works." God calls us in Christ to be free in these three respects:

(1) free from condemnation and conscience of guiltiness;

(2) free from pupil-age to a ceremonial institute of positive, carnal ordinances, and from bondage to a letter-Law;

(3) free, as consciously his children, knit to him by his adopting Spirit, which makes us partakers of his nature. Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh (μόνον μὴ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῆς σαρκός); only, no freedom which shall be an occasion to the flesh! or, only, make not your freedom into an occasion for the flesh. The noun ἐλευθερίαν, being in the accusative, cannot be taken as simply a resumption of the ἐλευθερίᾳ immediately before. In his eagerness to at once bar the antinomian's abuse of the gospel, the apostle omits the verb which should account for this accusative; and the result is a sentence which may be taken as grouping with various passages in classical Greek authors, being in fact quite a natural way of speaking in any language; such as in Demosthenes, ' Philippians,' 1. p. 45, "No ten thousand mercenaries for me! (μή μοι μυριόυς... ξένους);" Sophocles, ' Ant.,' 573, "No more loiterings! but... (μὴ τριβὰς ἔτ ἀλλά...); "Aristophanes, ' Ach.,' 326, "No false pretences for me, but... (μή μοι πρόφασιν ἀλλά...)." In such cases it simply weakens the vivacity of the style, if we supply any verb. The alternative rendering supplies δῶτε, which is in fact found in two uncial manuscripts, F, G, or ἀποχρήσησθε, proposed by OEcumenius. In the former way of construing we have in thought to supply a second τὴν after ἐλευθερίαν, as in 1 Corinthians 10:18, Βλέπετε τὸν Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα: 2 Corinthians 7:7; Colossians 1:8; Ephesians 2:15. The preposition εἰς is need as Romans 11:9; 1 Corinthians 14:22, etc. The sense of the noun ἀφορμή, starting-point, is well illustrated by its use, in the military language of Greece, for a "basis of operations" (cf. Romans 7:8, 11; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:14). Reflection at once shows us that a "freedom" which allows a man to obey the behests of his lower nature is only by a false use of the term capable of being grouped with that freedom wherewith Christ makes us free. It adopts out of the latter the single element of emancipation from ceremonial law and letter-Law, and lets go altogether the concomitant notions of spiritual emancipation which are of its very essence. Such an emancipation hands its victim clean over to the thraldom of sin (John 8:34; 2 Peter 2:18, 19). St. Peter, in his First Epistle, addressed to a large group of Churches founded by St. Paul, including those of Galatia, has a number of passages which apparently take up sentiments and even expressions found in St. Paul's writings (see 1 Peter 5:12), as it were, ratifying them; and possibly he has an eye to the present verse when he writes (1 Peter 2:16), "as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bond-servants of God." "The flesh" is not to have its own way, but is to own the mastery of the Spirit. But by love serve one another (ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις); but through love be in bondage to one another; i.e. let love make you bondservants to one another. The verb δουλεύω also means "do acts of bond-service,' as Ephesians 6:7 and 1 Timothy 6:2. This sense is included in the "being in bondage ' here spoken cf. In the present posture of affairs in these Churches, the apostle sees occasion for selecting just here one particular branch of Christian goodness to enforce upon their observance. Presently after (vers. 16-20 he enlarges the field of view; though even there still giving much prominence to the vices of malignity and to the benignant virtues. Just now he has his eye especially on the evils of contentiousness (ver. 15), and upon love as their corrective. We may suppose such evils were now especially rife amongst the Galatians, whose natural character, commonly described as quarrelsome, was apparently evincing itself in connection with the disputes which the teaching and yet more the outward action of the Judaizers were giving rise to. In fact, a loving temper of mind, along with other benefits, is recommended also by this, that it guards Churches from corrupting innovations in doctrine and Church practice; checking our self-will and our obtrusive vanity, it leads us to avoid giving uneasiness to others by thrusting upon them new notions or new modes of conduct, and makes it our ambition to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The pattern set by our Lord (John 13:15), both in washing his disciples' feet and indeed in his whole incarnate life (Philippians 2:7), was grandly imitated by the apostle himself (1 Corinthians 9:19-22), who in outward things habitually sacrificed the pride of independence and self-assertion, and the pride of apparent self-consistency, in his devotion to the spiritual welfare of men. He here preaches just what he himself practised.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty,.... He calls them "brethren", to testify his affection to them, and to put them in mind of their relation to one another, which required mutual love, a thing he is about to press them to; he asserts that they were "called" not merely externally, but internally, by the effectual grace of God, out of bondage to sin, Satan, and the law, unto the liberty of the Gospel and of the grace of God; that liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, Galatians 5:1 this he said in a judgment of charity, hoping well of them:

only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh; corrupt nature, which in unregenerate men takes encouragement from, and makes an ill use of the best of things, as the mercy and patience of God; and not only takes an occasion by the law, forbidding sin to work and stir up all manner of concupiscence; but also by the Gospel, and the doctrines of it, such as eternal election, free justification, &c. which though the source and fountain, the barrier and security, of all true and real holiness, are improved and abused by wicked minds, under the influence and instigation of Satan, to vile purposes; and though regenerate persons are not in the flesh, and do not live after it, yet that is in them, and there is a proneness in them to sin; and Satan is watching all opportunities and advantages against them; so that there is need for such a caution as this, that they do not misuse their Christian liberty by indulging the flesh and the lusts of it, which is apt to take an occasion to cherish its lusts, and especially when given: Christ's free men should not do so, for that is to disgrace the doctrine of Christian liberty, to enthral themselves in, bondage instead of using their liberty aright, and to give the enemy occasion to blaspheme: the doctrine of Christian liberty may bc abused, or used as an occasion to the flesh, and to fulfil the lusts of it; when under a pretence thereof men think themselves exempt from obedience to the civil magistrate, which is using this liberty as a cloak of maliciousness; or that they are free from obedience to the law of God, as a rule of walk and conversation; or from subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel; or when they use the creatures God has given them the free use of without thankfulness, and in an immoderate manner; and when they make things indifferent which are not, or use indifferent things to the prejudice of others; and their liberty becomes a stumblingblock to weak Christians, which the apostle seems greatly to regard here; since he adds,

but by love serve one another: the Vulgate Latin version reads, "by the love of the Spirit": and so some copies; Gospel liberty and the service of the saints are not at all inconsistent; as it becomes them to love one another, as the new command of Christ, their profession of religion, and their relation to each other, require, so they should show their love by their service; as by praying one with and for another, by bearing each other's burdens, sympathizing with and communicating to each other in things temporal and spiritual; in forbearing with and forgiving one another; by admonishing each other when there is occasion for it, in a meek, tender, and brotherly way; by instructing and building up one another on their most holy faith, and by stirring up one another to all the duties of religion, private and public.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. The "ye" is emphatical, from its position in the Greek, "Ye brethren"; as opposed to those legalists "who trouble you."

unto liberty—The Greek expresses, "on a footing of liberty." The state or condition in which ye have been called to salvation, is one of liberty. Gospel liberty consists in three things, freedom from the Mosaic yoke, from sin, and from slavish fear.

only, &c.—Translate, "Only turn not your liberty into an occasion for the flesh." Do not give the flesh the handle or pretext (Ro 7:8, "occasion") for its indulgence which it eagerly seeks for; do not let it make Christian "liberty" its pretext for indulgence (Ga 5:16, 17; 1Pe 2:16; 2Pe 2:19; Jude 4).

but by love serve one another—Greek, "Be servants (be in bondage) to one another." If ye must be servants, then be servants to one another in love. While free as to legalism, be bound by Love (the article in the Greek personifies love in the abstract) to serve one another (1Co 9:19). Here he hints at their unloving strifes springing out of lust of power. "For the lust of power is the mother of heresies" [Chrysostom].

Galatians 5:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Freedom in Christ
12I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves. 13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."…
Cross References
John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

1 Corinthians 8:9
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Galatians 2:4
This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 5:21
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

1 Peter 2:16
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.
Treasury of Scripture

For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

ye.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us …

Galatians 4:5-7,22-31 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the …

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach …

John 8:32-36 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…

Romans 6:18-22 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness…

only.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling …

1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, …

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants …

Jude 1:4,10-12 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old …

but.

Galatians 5:14,22 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall …

Galatians 6:2 Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Mark 10:43-45 But so shall it not be among you: but whoever will be great among …

John 13:14,15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also …

Acts 20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support …

Romans 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, …

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant …

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs …

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves …

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more …

1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, …

James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food…

1 John 3:16-19 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life …

Jump to Previous
Bondservants Chance Condition Excuse Flesh Free Freedom Gain However Indulge Liberty Love Marked Nature Natures Occasion Opportunity Rather Servants Serve Sinful Spirit Turn Use Way
Jump to Next
Bondservants Chance Condition Excuse Flesh Free Freedom Gain However Indulge Liberty Love Marked Nature Natures Occasion Opportunity Rather Servants Serve Sinful Spirit Turn Use Way
Links
Galatians 5:13 NIV
Galatians 5:13 NLT
Galatians 5:13 ESV
Galatians 5:13 NASB
Galatians 5:13 KJV

Galatians 5:13 Bible Apps
Galatians 5:13 Bible Suite
Galatians 5:13 Biblia Paralela
Galatians 5:13 Chinese Bible
Galatians 5:13 French Bible
Galatians 5:13 German Bible

Alphabetical: an another be brethren brothers But called do flesh For free freedom in indulge into love my nature not one only opportunity rather serve sinful the through to turn use were You your

NT Letters: Galatians 5:13 For you brothers were called for freedom (Gal. Ga) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Galatians 5:12
Top of Page
Top of Page